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Jobless Rate In LA County Unchanged Through First 2 Months Of 2012

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(credit: Getty Images)

(credit: Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — The ranks of the unemployed in Los Angeles County remained unchanged over the first two months of this year, according to new data released Friday.

The state Employment Development Department said the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Los Angeles County held steady at 11.8 percent in February, the same rate as January.

The 11.8 percent unemployment rate was below the 12.3 percent rate in February 2011 and down over 1 percentage point in the past six months — a trend that EDD’s Loree Leevee told KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO she hopes will continue in the months ahead.

“I think that’s certainly trending in the right direction,” said Leevee. “We did have more job gains, although small, it continues to be an upward trend in jobs.”

In Orange County, where seasonally adjusted numbers were not available, the unemployment rate was 8 percent in February.

California’s jobless rate was 10.9 percent in February, the same as January but down from February 2011, when the rate was 12 percent, according to the EDD.

The comparable estimates for the nation were 8.3 percent in February, 8.3 percent in January and 9 percent a year ago.

Total nonfarm employment increased by 28,900 jobs in Los Angeles County between January and February to reach 3.8 million. The information sector recorded the largest month-over-month increase, adding 11,200 jobs.

A total of 580,000 people were unemployed in February in Los Angeles County, which has a labor force of about 4.9 million.

Statewide, 2.01 million people were out of work, down slightly from the previously month.

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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